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Thierry Henry:~ 5 Reasons Why Pep Guadiola Will Dominate The English Premier League

5 Reasons Why Pep Guadiola Will Dominate The English Premier League~  Thierry Henry


WHOEVER wins the Premier League this season had better make the most if it.
Because it will be a completely different story when Pep Guardiola arrives in England next year.
If I was chairman of any club in the world looking to change its manager, Guardiola would be my No1 pick. No contest.
For me, he is already one of the greatest coaches of all time. His teams don’t just win the league, they totally dominate it.
He arrives with a plan, takes complete control of a club and puts a lasting legacy in place that survives long after he’s moved on to his next challenge.
I was fortunate enough to be at Barcelona right at the start of Guardiola’s coaching career and was blown away by the man and his methods.
Now I can only assume that he has become even better during the past five years at Barca and Bayern.

Here is what makes him so special.

PHILOSOPHY

PEP’S philosophy is based around the three Ps — passing the ball (play), keeping the ball (possession) and staying in your zone (position).
It is all about defending really high up the pitch to put pressure on the other team, getting the ball as quickly as possible and staying in the opposition half as much as you can.
For him, winning is a consequence of playing well with the ball on the ground, respecting his plan, staying in position and always keeping possession.
He puts everything in place to get the ball up to the final third of the pitch and then trusts his team to finish the job in the only area of the field that can’t be planned for.
Guardiola studies the weaknesses of every opponent and gives his players a precise way of bringing the ball out. He has a different set-piece routine for every game.
So you know exactly how a game is going to unfold before it kicks off.
You are aware of what runs to make and where to go, because the spaces open up precisely as Pep has planned.
Every player has to stick to his position and not go chasing after the ball.
No one dribbles in midfield. It’s all two-touch football because the ball moves quicker than any player.
He continually asks questions of the opposition.
They might have answers for the first three or four, but eventually they will run out of solutions and suddenly the game is lost.

FORMATION

IF you watch Bayern Munich, there are times they play a 1-2-5-3 formation — with keeper Manuel Neuer as sweeper.
It is all about creating overloads in midfield, winning the ball back as quickly as possible and creating an immediate transition from defence to attack.
With so many players in midfield the distances are short and the structure is right. Even when his team has the ball, they are thinking about defensive play.
The holding midfielder stays on top of the other team’s dangerman, forcing opponents to kick the ball without looking because everyone is in place to suffocate midfield and strangle any counter-attacks.
With Neuer effectively a sweeper, the central defenders play a high line knowing he will deal with anything over the top. His wingers stay high and wide to neutralise the opponent’s defence, with the striker between the two centre-backs.
They force defenders to stay with them, allowing the team to overload midfield with superior numbers. It’s simple maths.

DISCIPLINE

GUARDIOLA is an absolute professional on and off the field and demands the same from every one of his players.
If one guy is not in sync with the rest of the group, he won’t stand for it.
Arrive late for training and the session has already started, you don’t train.
He banned us from watching the F1 or tennis in Barcelona because he didn’t want us sitting in the sun for hours. We weren’t allowed out after midnight and he controlled everything we ate and drank.
If I had some commercial commitments, my agent would have to email Pep for his permission. He never said no but he just wanted to know what we were up to.
It sounds like he was an absolute control freak but that was never the case.
He simply gave us sensible guidelines and let everyone know what the consequences would be of not following his rules. You’d have to be stupid to ignore his demands because they made us all better players.

TRAINING

TRAINING sessions were never long, not even in pre-season, but everything was done at an intensity of 2,000 per cent.
We trained the way we were expected to play, giving every drop of energy and paying so much attention to detail.
People always go on about how good Pep’s teams are on the ball, the tricks, the flicks and the goals.
What they don’t mention is the attention given to defending and all the work involved in getting everyone in the right place — and that was developed in training.
You were expected to run all the time. If you had a break in training to get a drink, you had to run to the sidelines and run straight back on to the pitch.
There was no mucking around and no room for egos. The players had to carry the goalposts on to the pitch because he wanted us to do everything as a team . . . and in double-quick time.
Pep was surrounded by superstars but kept them all on their toes by challenging them every minute of every day.

MAN-MANAGER

HE invited me to his house before he had even been confirmed as Barcelona boss and told me what he expected from me and what my role would be.
Everything was crystal clear and it allowed me to relax on my summer holiday.
Early into his first season we were five points clear at the top and absolutely buzzing. Samuel Eto’o had 11 goals, Leo Messi had ten and I had three or four.
But Pep called me into his office and said: “I want to see the Thierry Henry I used to see at Arsenal.”
To me, it didn’t matter who scored if we won but he said I had to score every week — and if I didn’t he’d get someone else in.
It worked. The next game I scored a hat-trick and the three forwards finished the season with 100 goals between us.
Against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League I was cheeky and went over to the right wing. Pep took me off at half-time because I didn’t follow instructions.


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